“How you sell a story is more important than the story.”

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

It was 5pm London time when my CTO sent me screenshots over a very poor internet connection. The connection was worsened by Google Meet which I’m convinced has a vendetta against me.

“Is my screen sharing?” He asks, his voice breaking and robotic. The Wi-fi at my apartment is almost non-existent and I had been using uncapped mobile data for the last month.

Finally, the loading icon pauses, the screen flashes and the images from our Whatsapp bot and our Newsbyte Africa app are in full screen.

This is my first time seeing the Whatsapp bot in action and I’m beyond excited. But a moment later I feel deflated, contemplating the work we still have to do. One of my favourite lines from Game of Thrones comes to mind. Jojen Reed says this line to Bran Stark when they first meet him: “We’ve come a long way to find you, Brandon, and we have much farther to go.”

I’m tempted to rush through this moment.

I’m tempted to say, “Cool, what’s next on the agenda?” but I don’t. I wrestle with the moment, until I relax. I give myself a second to appreciate the hard work it’s taken to get here. To this moment, to this place.

I feel the weight of the moment then, the weight of an idea coming to life. An idea moving from the invisible to the visible.

Getting into the technical details

So we’ve put together our very first proof of concept. We’ve decided to build the app in Flutterwave since it allows for cross platform app development. Flutterwave is also more intuitive than developing the app in PHP.

We had a meeting with our dev team and we spoke about the limitations of using Whatsapp for Newsbyte. The greatest advantage of Whatsapp is Network effects, which I’ll get into more in another article. The greatest disadvantage with Whatsapp is that we can’t build an entire company based on an IP that is externally controlled.

New challenges

One of our latest challenges has been accessing the APIs for African news organisations. Simply put, an API is the middle man that allows two programs to talk to each other and exchange information.

Since at Newsbyte, we’re focused on African news at the moment, many African websites don’t have website APIs that we can use to generate news headlines. Our next goal is to ask our partnering news organisations if they can develop their own web APIs that we can then use. Without an API, we would have to crawl the news websites ourselves and extract news links. This is doable of course, but will make the process much longer on the dev side of things.

We’ll also be starting our Newsbyte Twitter account this week, so be sure to follow us there.

Favourite Quote: “How You Sell A Story Is More Important Than The Story.”

What I’m reading: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Video of the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1kGwNZrkNY.

Personal Video of the week: Mental Models to Meet Your Goals In Half The Time - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StPwijeLLGg

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Pumulo Ngoma

Pumulo Ngoma

Khaleesi of Content. I write about Entrepreneurship, Startups, Productivity and Living a More Meaningful Life.